The Mets are an interesting bunch from a fantasy point of view. The team features five elite players, one for every position (corner infield, middle infielder, outfielder, starter and closer), two better than average players, and a lot of question marks with upside.
The Best of the Bunch (Elite Players):
Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez (CL): After breaking the record and notching 62 saves last year for the Angels, K-Rod became a free agent and ended up in the NL. He’s the only elite NL closer despite worries that his velocity has declined the last few seasons. Some fantasy owners will knock him down in the rankings because of that, but don’t let it fool you - he still has upside.
Carlos Beltran (OF): Beltran just quietly goes around putting up excellent five category numbers year after year. Last year’s .284-27-112-116-25 is a perfect example. Expect more of the same with perhaps a slight decline as Beltran has reached the wrong side of 30 and nothing lasts forever.
The Second Tier (Superior Players):
The Mets have no second tier players
The Third Tier (Better than Average Players):
Carlos Delgado (1B): Delgado put up some rather gaudy numbers last season, almost all in the second half. He finished with a .271-38-115-96-1 line. While it’s not realistic to expect the 36-year-old to repeat those numbers, a .265-30-100 line seems more than possible. Because of age, he is an injury risk.
John Maine (SP): Maine seemed poised for a breakout year going into 2008 before he was sidelined by shoulder problems. Remember that he won 15 games in 2007 and had a solid first half before the injury. He struggled a bit after that, which makes his 2008 numbers look considerably worse than they really were. He had minor surgery to repair the problem in October, and he’ll be undervalued on draft day.
Question Marks, Cheap Buys and sleepers:
Oliver Perez (OF): The erratic Perez is brilliant one day and dreadful the next. He’s still searching for consistency and if he ever finds it a breakout would be in order. Still you can’t count on that but you can count on his ability to strikeout 170+ batters once again. His big problem is control, but with his upside he’s someone to keep an eye on in the late rounds of drafts.
Luis Castillo (2B): Castillo was just about run out of town this offseason by the Mets faithful, but the team couldn’t find any takers for the declining second baseman who only played 87 games last season. That may have lit a fire under Castillo who came to camp in good shape and has seemingly regained his form based on his spring numbers so far (.303 with 3 doubles and 2 steals in just 33 AB). If that’s true, he’ll be a sleeper capable of stealing 15-20 bases.
Daniel Murphy (OF): Murphy -- who’s slated to be the Mets everyday left fielder -- can hit for average but has yet to show much in the way of power. Still he’s a doubles hitter and that often turns to power with age. He’s been tearing it up in spring training, but hasn’t shown reason to believe that he’s ready for a power surge.
Ryan Church (OF): If Church has shaken off the effects of post concussion syndrome he could be a solid sleeper for 2009. He’s got 20-25 home run power, is capable of hitting for average, and will get a chance to play everyday.
Brian Schneider (C): Not much value here, but he’ll get at bats in NY with runners on base and could manage something like .265-7-50 which is decent enough for a second catcher late in the draft. He’s had a very good spring.
JJ Putz (RP): Former Seattle closer JJ Putz will serve as a set up man in New York. Still it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get a handful of saves, and he will be second in line to close if K-Rod hits a rough spot, needs a day off or gets injured during the season.
Mike Pelfrey (SP): Pelfrey has earned a spot in the Mets rotation, but how much fantasy value he has is very much in question. He’s hardly been dominating, despite the fact he’s been effective. He could be a cheap source of wins, but don’t look to him for big time K numbers or the best of peripherals.
Where have the Mets been going in your fantasy drafts? Let us hear your comments below.
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